The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, August 25, 2023, was written by Nomi Sridewi Girsang of North Sumatra, Indonesia.
19 The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! 20 My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. 21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Laminations 3:19-23 NRSV
Because of my family's economic situation, I had to work for three years before continuing my education. I was excited for the opportunity to go to college. After finishing my education in law, I had hoped to get a dream job and provide for my family economically. It turns out it's not easy to get a dream job. However, I started working in a religious bookstore, and I have worked there for several months now. Sometimes I feel sad while remembering the dreams and hopes I had when I was in college. I still want a job that allows me to use what I learned in college, and I would like to help my family afford my brother's education.
But one day the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: "Serving God is a gift and a very special opportunity." Then I learned to be grateful for every opportunity God has entrusted to me. This special opportunity to work and serve in a religious bookstore comes from God. I don't know about tomorrow, but I'm grateful that today I can serve and work for God.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
How do we cope with detours on our journey toward our dreams? Some of us attempt to overcompensate for our frustrations and stifled ambitions. Others find trusted friends and family to lean upon, providing hope and a broadened perspective. As people of faith, we are called to rely upon and serve God amidst our detours. I am reminded of the story of Joseph whose vision from God meet with several detours before he ascended to leadership in Egypt. Joseph's story reminds me to be faithful to the vision and vocation God has called me to fulfill, despite the detours and roadblocks that emerge along the journey. I invite you to take a moment, breathe deeply, and resolve to remain faithful to God, despite your detours.
Dear God, thank you for the many opportunities you bring us to witness to your grace-filled love. In all that we do, we want to honor you. Amen.